American Rescue Plan Grants for Cultural Institutions


Kentucky Humanities Awards $800,000 to 51 Kentucky Organizations through American Rescue Plan Grants

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2021) – Kentucky Humanities has awarded $800,382 to 51 cultural organizations throughout the state through funds from with National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden.

Kentucky Humanities ARP Grants provide funding to museums, archives, historic sites, and other nonprofit cultural agencies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses across the country, including not-for-profit agencies, continue to feel the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bill Goodman, Kentucky Humanities Executive Director. “This money appropriated by Congress will help many cultural organizations throughout the Commonwealth get back on their feet and adapt to the societal changes COVID-19 has brought. Kentucky Humanities is glad to work with the National Endowment for the Humanities to get these much-needed funds in the hands of humanities-based organizations throughout Kentucky.”

Kentucky Humanities ARP Grants have been awarded to:

  • African American Heritage Foundation Inc. dba Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Louisville
  • Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky Inc., Hindman
  • Appalshop Inc., Whitesburg
  • Art Center of the Bluegrass Inc., Danville
  • Asia Institute Inc. - The Crane House, Louisville
  • Ballard Carlisle Historical and Genealogical Society, Wickliffe
  • Bardstown-Nelson County African American Heritage Museum - a subsidiary of First Baptist Church of Bardstown, Bardstown
  • Barren County Historical Foundation/South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, Glasgow
  • Bell County Historical Society Inc., Middlesboro
  • Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Owensboro
  • Breathitt County Arts and Tourism Center, Jackson
  • Carnegie Literacy Center Inc., Lexington
  • Frazier Historical Arms Museum Foundation Inc., Louisville
  • Friends of Oxmoor Foundation Inc. dba Oxmoor Farm Foundation, Louisville
  • Georgetown Scott County Museum, Georgetown
  • Harrodsburg Historical Society, Harrodsburg
  • Henry Clay Memorial Foundation, Lexington
  • Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, Ashland
  • Hindman Settlement School, Hindman
  • Historic Locust Grove Inc., Louisville
  • Historic Russellville Inc. dba Seek Museum, Russellville
  • I Was Here Inc., Lexington
  • Jesse Stuart Foundation Inc., Ashland
  • Kentucky Historical Society Foundation, Frankfort
  • Kentucky Mansions Preservation Foundation Inc. dba Mary Todd Lincoln House, Lexington
  • Kentucky Railway Museum Inc., New Haven
  • Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, Irvine
  • KMAC Museum, Louisville
  • LexArts, Lexington
  • Lexington Children's Museum dba Explorium of Lexington, Lexington
  • Lexington Writer's Room, Lexington
  • Maysville Mason County Library, Historical and Scientific Association DBA: Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville
  • Meade County Historical and Archaeological Preservation Society Inc., Brandenburg
  • Mt. Vernon-Rockcastle County Tourist Commisison Inc. dba: Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Mount Vernon
  • Muhammad Ali Museum and Education Center, Louisville
  • National Underground Railroad Museum Inc., Maysville
  • Paramount Arts Center Inc., Ashland
  • Pennyroyal Arts Council Inc., Hopkinsville
  • Pioneer School of Drama dba Pioneer Playhouse, Danville
  • Portland Museum Inc., Louisville
  • Reckoning Inc., Louisville
  • Red River Historical Society, Clay City
  • Shakertown at Pleasant Hill Kentucky Inc., Harrodsburg
  • Simpson County Historical Society, Franklin
  • St. James Court Historic Foundation Inc. dba Conrad-Caldwell House Museum, Louisville
  • The Berry Center, New Castle
  • The Filson Historical Society Inc., Louisville
  • The Lincoln Museum, Hodgenville
  • The National Quilt Museum, Paducah
  • Three Forks Historical Museum Inc., Beattyville
  • Upper Town Heritage Foundation Inc., Paducah

Kentucky Humanities is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. For information about Kentucky Humanities’ programs and services, and more details about the American Rescue Plan Grants available, visit

(Information updated 7/20/21)

American Rescue Plan Grants


Kentucky Humanities has received funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to assist humanities organizations and other cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus pandemic as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) approved by U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden.

Kentucky Humanities will provide recovery funding to museums, archives, historic sites, and other nonprofits impacted by the pandemic.

What is the purpose of the funds?

The primary purpose of ARP funding is to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus.

The following activities are activities that can be supported with ARP subawards:

  • Humanities programming
  • General Operating costs of humanities focused organizations
  • Strategic planning and capacity building efforts related to preparing, responding to, and recovering from the coronavirus
  • Technical/consultant needs related to a digital transition or in support of preservation and access programs (equipment costs cannot exceed 20% of a subaward)
  • Expansion, due to the effects of the coronavirus, of outdoor and virtual humanities programming and engagement or similar activities to transition from traditional environments to those that are more accessible
  • Equity assessments and planning related to coronavirus and the economic crisis

Who is eligible?

To apply for an American Rescue Plan grant, non-profit cultural organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a recognized 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service prior to the application deadline
  • Have a primary mission that is humanities focused
  • Offer humanities programs that are accessible to Kentuckians and open to the public
  • Have a primary business address is in Kentucky
  • Have a unique entity identifier (currently a D-U-N-S number)
  • Have not been suspended or debarred
  • Are not delinquent on federal debt

Who is not eligible?

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for an American Rescue Plan grant:

  • Institutions of higher education or individual departments of colleges and universities
  • Public libraries
  • Religious or primarily faith-based programs or organizations receiving a significant portion of their funding from a religious organization
  • Government agencies or institutions
  • Public, private, or parochial schools
  • For-profit organizations
  • Individuals
  • Nonprofit charitable organizations designed as private foundations by the Internal Revenue Service

However, museums, archives, university presses, and public-facing cultural organizations affiliated with a college or university may apply for ARP grants.

Organizations whose mission falls outside the humanities and humanistic social sciences are not eligible to receive funding for general operating costs under the ARP awards. They would be eligible for specific humanities related programming needs.

What are the humanities?

“The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism, and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”

--National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act, 1965, as amended

Public libraries and arts organizations

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included federal funding for numerous agencies across Kentucky including the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. To ensure that this funding is distributed equitably, public libraries and arts-specific organizations should apply directly to those respective agencies for ARP funding.

Funding amount

Grants will range from $2,000 - $20,000. Applicant must demonstrate the need and submit a reasonable budget for the requested grant amount.

What’s the deadline to apply?

The deadline for applications is June 18, 2021. Priority will be given to the applications received by this date. Applications received by June 18 will be reviewed in July and awarded soon after our review. However, we will continue to accept applications until funding is exhausted. All grants must be awarded by November 30, 2021.

When must grant funds be used?

Grant activities must start no later than December 1, 2021 and must end no later than November 30, 2022. Activities can begin as soon as the grant is awarded.

Funds may not be used for the following:

  • Unallowable expenses as defined in 2 CRF 200 Subpart E – Cost Principles
  • Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
  • Fund for activities supported by other non-NEH federal funds
  • Competitive regranting
  • Cancellation costs
  • Pre-award costs dating before March 15, 2021
  • Equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs
  • Travel (both foreign and domestic)
  • Construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Collection acquisition
  • The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming
  • Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
  • Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
  • Support of specific public policies or legislation
  • Lobbying
  • Projects that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies)

How do I apply?

  1. Carefully review the program guidelines on this page
  2. Verify that you have an active D-U-N-S number
  3. Complete the online application below by the deadline date
  4. Submit all necessary attachments to the application.

If I receive a grant, what are my responsibilities?

  • Sign a grant award letter
  • Complete the activities you outlined in your grant application within the grant period
  • Send a letter to both Senators and the member of Congress in your organization’s district thanking them for their support
  • Acknowledge Kentucky Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities in all public communications
  • Submit a final report no later than 90 days following your grant end date.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel and awarded are based on available funds. Applicants will be notified via email of the application award status.

How will grant applications be evaluated?

The grant review committee will read and score applications on the following criteria:

  • Organization meets basic requirements to apply (D-U-N-S #, not for profit organization, Kentucky organization) - 5 points
  • Organization has expressed a clear, easily understood case for need created specifically by COVID - 25 points
  • Organization has expressed a clear plan of how they will use these grant funds - 15 points
  • Organization has established track record of commitment to the humanities. Published mission indicates they are a humanities organization. - 25 points
  • Organization clearly describes DEI initiatives and helps Kentucky Humanities with outreach in underserved areas and constituencies of the Commonwealth - 25 points
  • Organization has other circumstances that need to be considered in providing funding. - 5 points

If I have questions, who can help me?

Kathleen Pool

Associate Director and Grants Officer



For a printable copy of this information or to download these files:


Application (Just for reading purposes, application must be submitted via the form below)

Budget Form

Attachment 1

Final Report Forms for Awarded Grants:

ARP grant funded event log

ARP Final Report

• ARP Project Director Interim Report

• ARP Project Director Final Report